On Oct. 13, a group of major libraries that are participating in Google’s Library Project said they are working together to create what amounts to a publicly accessible backup of the digital library that Google is creating, reports the New York Times. The project, which is called HathiTrust, includes libraries at 12 Midwestern universities such as the University of Michigan, the University of Iowa, and the University of Illinois, and the 11 libraries of the University of California system. (Hathi is Hindi for "elephant," an animal that is said to never forget.) In the Google Books Library Project, the internet giant has been scanning the collections of several large libraries. The company gives users access to the complete text of books that are in the public domain, and to snippets of books that are protected by copyrights. Google also gives each library a copy of the books it digitized from that library. "Google is an excellent partner," Paul Courant, university librarian and dean of libraries, at the University of Michigan, said in an interview. "They are a corporation with a responsibility to its stockholders. Google could last 50 years, 100 years, 1,000 years. We are academic institutions with a commitment to the preservation and use of scholarship and the scholarship record for the indefinite future." HathiTrust is an agreement by several of those libraries–but not all of them–to pool their digital copies into one giant database that will be accessible online. It will not make snippets of copyrighted works available, as some authors and book publishers said that amounts to copyright violations, but will allow users to search those texts…

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